Didinger: Foles should start rest of the season
Nick Foles (left) threw for three touchdowns -- two to Riley Cooper -- to lead the Eagles to a 27-13 win over the Packers on Sunday. (USA Today Images)
GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- The Eagles are making their move, and they’re catching plenty of breaks along the way.
Nick Foles tossed three touchdowns, two to Riley Cooper, and the Eagles' defense capitalized on Green Bay going to its No. 3 quarterback early as they beat the Packers, 27-13, on Sunday at historic Lambeau Field.
The Eagles (5-5) are at .500 for the first time since Oct. 13 with a home game against the struggling Redskins on tap before the bye week. Only the Cowboys, who play at New Orleans, are ahead of them in the NFC East.
Despite a rash of first-quarter injuries that took three starters -- Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks and safety Earl Wolff -- out of the game (see story), the Eagles churned out 417 offensive yards.
LeSean McCoy emerged from his three-week funk to rush for 155 yards, his third-highest total of the season, against the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing defense. The Eagles rushed for 205 yards, the most against Green Bay this year and the most by an opponent at Lambeau since 2005.
The Eagles hadn’t won at Lambeau since Nov. 10, 2003, exactly a decade ago, and won for just the fifth time in 21 road games against the Packers.
It wasn’t exactly a fair fight, given that Green Bay was already missing Super Bowl champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who broke his collarbone Monday night against Chicago, and then lost starting quarterback Seneca Wallace in the first series to a groin injury.
The Packers played the rest of the game with Scott Tolzien, who was signed off the practice squad earlier in the week and had never thrown an NFL pass before entering the game. Green Bay, leaning heavily on rookie running back Eddie Lacy, didn’t score a touchdown until late in the third quarter, after the Eagles were already up, 20-3.
Green Bay had played just three starting quarterbacks since 1993 before Rodgers got hurt. They’ve now played three this season.
Coming off his surreal seven-touchdown, perfect-passer rating effort against Oakland, Foles completed 12 of 18 passes for 228 yards. He hit deep balls again, tossing TDs of 55, 45 and 32 yards.
Reports of strange quacking noises coming from over the field surfaced after a couple of Foles’ throws, but wind might have been an issue. Each of his first two touchdowns passes was underthrown but had the fortune of landing in the right hands.
His first TD bounced off cornerback Tramon Williams before being plucked out of the air by DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard touchdown. On the second, Cooper came out of the end zone to catch the ball at the 1-yard line before rolling back into the end zone to complete a 45-yard touchdown catch. Foles still hasn’t thrown a pick this season.
Wallace was 5 of 5 for 25 yards before leaving the game and handing the ball to Tolzien, the former Wisconsin quarterback. Tolzien completed 24 of 39 throws for 280 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Who can cover Cooper? Nobody, lately. The fourth-year wideout caught three passes for 102 yards, his third 100-yard game in the past five weeks. He has five TD catches in the past two weeks and seven this year.
Packers rookie running back Lacy, the NFL leader in rushing yards since Week 3, started fast with 17 yards on his first two carries. But he gained just 56 more on his next 22 carries, averaging less than three yards per.
Split it between cornerback Brandon Boykin and linebacker DeMeco Ryans. Boykin took seven Green Bay points off the board by picking off a Tolzien pass to Jordy Nelson in the end zone and returning it 76 yards. Ryans also had a pick and made a ton of plays in run defense and coverage.
Green Bay’s secondary came up short, allowing three touchdowns at home to Eagles receivers. Williams, the Pro Bowl corner, had a chance to (at least) bat down Foles’ 55-yarder to Jackson but instead bobbled the ball into Jackson’s hands.
Kendricks suffered a right knee injury on the first defensive series, making a tackle on Lacy. He was replaced by Najee Goode. Peters left in the first quarter to be examined for a head injury but returned on the next series, then came out for good with a quad injury. Allen Barbre subbed for the Pro Bowl left tackle. Wolff injured his knee and was replaced by Patrick Chung.
Did you know?
Boykin’s 76-yard interception return was the team’s longest since Sheldon Brown returned one 83 yards against Chris Redman and the Falcons on Dec. 6, 2009.
QB Michael Vick, CB Bradley Fletcher, OT Matt Tobin, OT Dennis Kelly, RB Matthew Tucker, LB Jake Knott, WR B.J. Cunningham (see story).
The Eagles are home for the first time since Oct. 27 to face the Redskins (3-6), who they beat 33-27 in the season opener. The Eagles have lost 10 straight games at the Linc, dating back to the 2012 season, the league’s longest active home losing streak. Washington lost to Minnesota, 34-27, on Thursday night at the Metrodome.